Old Bendigo Gaol was built in the 1850s – and operated right up to recently, although sewerage only got put in the mid-1990s…appropriate some might say. I took my Australian History class there, and they loved it although disturbingly, some said they had never known that there was a gaol in Bendigo. It was a great window into Bendigo’s 19th century history.
Anyway, a local group has raised questions about the fact that Bendigo Senior Secondary College has plans to use some of the gaol’s land to build school buildings. Although they can’t use the cells (except for locking up recalcitrant students – ah, wouldn’t we all love to do that to particular students…or even colleagues…), they’d like to build in the grounds.
After running a couple of articles about it in May and December, The Bendigo Weekly has taken up the cause, as they are wont to do, with a fairly straight editorial about the issue. You can read it here.
My opinion? Well, I understand that BSSC has looked for other groups to take responsibility for maintaining the historical part of the gaol, as they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Apparently a huge amount of money would be needed to maintain it and keep it open to the public. But surely it would generate money, too? Just seems ridiculous to not use it as a tourist and educational site.